IVYBRIDGE bounced back from their first defeat of the season by beating Bromsgrove 30-28 away in National Three South West.
Player-coach Lewis Paterson scored a first half try, with Nathan Reeves collecting two after the break.
Billy Pinkus kicked the rest of their points in the Midlands.
Afterwards Paterson said just getting the win was important after losing 41-24 at home to leaders Camborne last weekend.
“We went up there and regardless of the score we just wanted to get a win and have that bounce-back-ability from last week after losing at home,” said Paterson.
“This was one of our longest away trips and we needed to win. We couldn’t lose at home and then follow it up with another loss.”
Paterson said Ivybridge’s win was more comfortable than the scoreline suggested, with bottom club Bromsgrove being awarded a late penalty try and also scoring with an interception in the first half.
“Without disrespecting Bromsgrove whatsoever, I think the scoreline was quite flattering to them,” said Paterson.
“They are a good side and it will only be a matter of time before they get a win, but I just felt we were the dominant side, especially for 65 minutes of the game.
“They just capitalised on some of our mistakes, which is where their points came from.”
He added: “We went up there with a few injuries – Reggie (Alex Hall), James Sloan and a few others out injured – but it made room for boys who played really well.
“Pete Abraham came in and did really well and had a stand-out game at flanker.
“It was just a good performance from us on a long away trip. We just wanted to start the game like we haven’t been able to do in the previous ones. It was impressive to see us start so well after a long bus journey.”
Next up for Ivybridge is a Devon derby against Newton Abbot at Cross-in-Hand.
WESTERN COUNTIES WEST
DEVONPORT Services ran in five tries to claim their biggest win of the season at Wellington on Saturday.
Services won 31-6 to make it four victories in a row in Western Counties West.
It was the first time this season they had secured a try-scoring bonus point and they also kept their own try line intact.
“Scoring five tries away is absolutely brilliant,” said team manager Kieran Leach. “Our forwards were awesome.”
Wellington’s forwards were not as big as the rest of the sides Services have faced this year and that allowed the visitors to have more ball than they’d had in their other maches.
However, they didn’t make a good start, going 3-0 down early on to a penalty.
But after that they got on top and took the lead with a try down the left wing by Luke Stannard after good forward work. Matt Anstis converted.
Services went through a spell of giving away too many penalties, but Wellington were only able to make one of them tell to cut the gap to one point.
The visitors, though, playing up the hill, went in at the break 12-6 in front thanks a try by returning prop Joe Daley.
After the interval, young centre Toby Knowles, who again impressed for Services, added their third try after good work by Daley. Anstis converted to make it 19-6.
Man-of-the-match Matt Gregory, at number eight, collected a fourth for Devonport before Stannard added a second to finish off the scoring.
Services stay fifth in the table. Next weekend they face a tough test when second-placed Exeter University visit the Rectory.
Meanwhile, Devonport Services seconds went down 26-10 at to Newton Abbot after they lent their higher league visitors two players to make it 15-a-side.
SALTASH snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Plymstock Albion Oaks at Moorlands Lane on Saturday.
The Ashes were 21-0 down early in the second half but they ended up winning 25-21 thanks to a try with the last play of the game by Will Morton, who claimed a hat-trick in their tremendous comeback.
Oaks will still be trying to work out how they did not return back across the Tamar with four points.
They were dominant for nearly three quarters of the match, particularly up front, but conceded four tries down their left side in the final 22 minutes.
The visitors were frustrated at the end as they were attacking Saltash’s line and thought time was up but the referee awarded the home side a controversial penalty, which they tapped and ran the length of the field to win.
“It was really frustrating after another good week at training,” admitted Oaks coach Tim Mathias. “To be 21-0 up at one point and then to lose 25-21 hurts. It doesn’t get any easier, even at my age – it still hurts.
“I feel for the lads because they did a lot. We had the ball at the end of the game with 30 seconds to play and I thought we had kept the ball to win it, but the referee gives a penalty. I didn’t see what he gave it for, but it’s just those little things that make the difference.
“It’s stuff we should have learned from last season because that game was there for the taking and to send a message out to the rest of the league, but we missed that opportunity.”
Mathias was really pleased with how his team played first half. He felt it was their best 40 minutes of the season so far, but was disappointed that it all went wrong in the final quarter of the game.
“Our discipline was good in the first half and even coming out second half, we had a great take from the restart and we got on the scoreboard straight away – you could not ask for more really,” he said.
“But, like with any team, we have systems in place and if we don’t all buy into them as a squad then the opposition will create chances and Saltash are a dangerous team when they throw the ball wide.
“They exploited our mistakes. I don’t think they had to work for any of those scores.
“That first half was the best we’ve played this year, but second half we did not do our systems justice.”
Oaks could have made the game safe three minutes from time when they pressed Saltash’s line but were pushed into touch two metres from the whitewash.
“What is good is that we are creating chances and to be fair we took most of them on Saturday,” said Mathias. “Against most other teams we would have done more than enough to come away with a win.
“Most sides at 21-0 down would not have comeback like they (Saltash) did. Credit to them. They kept going to the end and got the win.”
Saltash coach Nick Skinnard said: “We should not have got ourselves 21-0 down. We were very poor indeed in the first half. We were very indisciplined and probably didn’t deserve to get back and win, but at least we tried and got there.”
Skinnard admitted the way they won the game with the last play of the game from their own 22 was incredible.
“It was like a film,” he said. “We are very, very fortunate.”
After losing their opening two games following their relegation from Western Counties West, Saltash have now won their last three matches to move up to third in the table.
“We played probably two of the best sides in the opening two games,” said Skinnard. “We lost at home in a monsoon by just three points to Paignton, despite playing quite well, and we only lost by 10 points at Penryn and scored four tries.
“We were disappointed to lose those but we didn’t perform badly and I think those two sides will be up in the top three or four.”
Oaks, who have dropped down to seventh, looked very professional in the first half playing down the Moorlands Lane slope, collecting points on nearly every visit into Saltash’s half.
Winger Mat Nayle-Opie gave them the lead with a fine unconverted try.
Player-coach Richard West then kicked a drop-goal and two penalties to edge them 14-0 up. He also missed with a second drop-goal and right at the end of the half, Oaks were awarded another kickable penalty but went for the corner and wasted the five-metre line-out.
Saltash’s Nick Blake missed with a penalty of his own deep in first half injury-time.
Oaks came out for the second period like the first with Nayle-Opie scoring a second try in the left corner, which West converted to put them 21-0 up.
Blake got Saltash on the board with a penalty on 48 minutes but they did not seem any danger to Oaks, with the home side not able to get their passing going.
However, in the 58th minute they finally got a try when Morton went over for his first in the right corner to make it 21-8.
That was how it stayed until the 73rd minute when Phil Eatwell caught Oaks napping with a tap penalty close the line. Blake converted to make it 21-15.
That score lifted Saltash, who suddenly realised they could just win the game.
And from virtually the restart they scored again with Morton collecting his second in the same corner. Blake, though, missed the conversion so Saltash trailed by one point with time running out.
Oaks responded and should have scored but failed to take their chance and in the seventh minute of injury-time, Saltash ran a penalty from their own 22 and Morton slipped a tackle down the right to run in to win the game.
TAVISTOCK claimed their most impressive victory of the season by overcoming the Pirates Amateurs 38-19 at Sandy Park on Saturday.
The win, their third in five games, has lifted them to sixth in the Cornwall/Devon League table.
The Pirates’ only previous defeat was a narrow 32-26 loss away at Saltash.
“It was the best win of our season by far,” said coach Hammy Kerswill.
“The session (in mid-week) with (previous club captains) Matt Cole and Pete Davis really made a difference as the boys were much more vocal and positive throughout.
The impressive Mark Friend, who had moved from flanker to number eight, was outstanding for Tavistock, carrying tirelessly, and he scored two early tries as the hosts led by six points at half-time.
The Pirates levelled after the interval with two kicks, but an outstanding solo effort from winger Aidan Mason put Tavvy back in front.
Captain Andrew Schuttkacker extended the home club’s lead with a pick-and-go try before Ben Hadfield and Danny Oner finished off excellent counter-attacks.
“All round it was an excellent game and day for the club, as the second beat Plymstock 7-6,” said Kerswill.
There was frustration for Tamar Saracens and Plymouth Argaum after their match at Parkway was postponed at the last minute due to no official.
Both sides had warmed up, but at 2.55pm the game was called off.
The problem appeared to be caused because the referee who had been appointed to officiate the game had not received any official confirmation from Tamar Saracens that he was required and so made other commitments.
Saracens insist they tried to confirm with him but without any luck and were clearly hoping he would still turn up. It is believed the referee attempted to contact Tamar Saracens’ fixture secretary John Bentley, who was on holiday overseas.
Attempts to find a late replacement also proved fruitless.
Saracens captain Scott Sheldon said: “The club had been trying since Wednesday to contact the ref but with no reply. By all accounts he was trying to get hold of John Bentley, who was in Tenerife.
“On Friday, when the club hadn’t heard anything they tried Trevor at the Referees’ Society, but could not get hold of him. I think he was in Cyprus.
“The club made every attempt to contact the ref. It was genuine miscommunication.
“We were all set-up to play. It was really frustrating for everyone.”
Argaum were not happy, especially as after doing all their warm-up and getting changed into the match kit.
They could be awarded the point by the league or the match could be rearranged.
“We were really upset that the game was not played because of admin inadequacies,” said spokesman Stuart Quarterman.
Ironically, two referees turned up to officiate Devonport Services’ seconds match with Newton Abbot at the Rectory.
Argaum’s seconds did play on Saturday. They were beaten by Saltash 40-17 in the Armada League. The match saw Argaum’s president, Steve Barnes, feature.
DAVID BUTT MEMORIAL TROPHY
OLD Techs continued their 100 per cent record in the David Butt Trophy with a 53-11 victory away at Plympton Victoria.
Plym Vic battled hard but Old Techs’ players showed they are determined to fight for a place in the team to face Totnes in the semi-finals of October 15.
Meanwhile, there was disappointment for OPMs, who went down 27-8 away at Dartmouth.
Martin Skelley scored the Old Boys’ only try, which Gav Rea kicking a penalty.
Dartmouth have leapfrogged above OPMs into second place with one game to go.
OPMs will conclude their cup campaign next weekend with a trip to winless Salcombe.